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Old Feb 18, 2011, 8:36 AM   #1
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Default BLM-5 Clone

Robert Dean, a pro photographer member of the Oly forum at FourThirdsPhoto, found a BLM-5 clone, actually in stock (!), here:

http://www.bestbatt.com/Olympus_PS_B...y_p/bbblm5.htm

It's half the price of the Oly OEM battery (assuming you could actually buy one, which you haven't been able to since at least mid-December). And it has a significantly higher capacity: 1800 mAh versus 1620 for the Oly BLM-5 versus 1500 for the BLM-1. Bob says it seems well made; I have one on order.

This isn't only of interest to E-5 owners. If your photography habits require longer battery life in camera you might want to consider this battery (although you will have to buy a new charger, which the above source sells for $18). It fits any camera that uses the BLM-1 which, BTW, Olympus has discontinued (presumably because of the new Japanese regulation).

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Old Feb 18, 2011, 10:04 AM   #2
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Probably won't be in stock for very long!

I've just been using my BLM-5 in my E5, but I think I'm going to start again using all four of my BLM-1's in rotation with the BLM-5, especially when I have the grip attached, where two BLM-1's last a while.

I know just enough about this type stuff to get myself into trouble at times. Do you think there is there any possible issue using a higher capacity than Olympus-spec battery such as this third-party option over time in the E5? I've considered just buying the combination BLM-5 battery/charger that B&H has had in stock for a while now.

If they really have discontinued the BLM-1's, they really need to get the BLM-5 out there for sale, and not just for the E5. I assume they are safe to use on all the other bodies that have required the BLM-1. Hope so at least. They'd be the only Olympus option now. That's a lot of bodies to leave high and dry if they are not compatible.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 10:36 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
I know just enough about this type stuff to get myself into trouble at times. Do you think there is there any possible issue using a higher capacity than Olympus-spec battery such as this third-party option over time in the E5?
Greg, if you're not an engineer that's a good question for you to ask. As long as the battery's voltage is correct there is no harm in using a non-OEM battery. Having a higher capacity just means it delivers power longer. The first thing Robert Dean did when he got his, was check the voltage to be sure it was OK.

The FourThirdsPhoto thread on this is interesting.

http://forum.fourthirdsphoto.com/showthread.php?t=64350

Godfrey Digiorgi, another pro photographer, just noted that he's had mixed results with batteries from Bestbatt.com. Oy!

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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
If they really have discontinued the BLM-1's, they really need to get the BLM-5 out there for sale, and not just for the E5. I assume they are safe to use on all the other bodies that have required the BLM-1. Hope so at least. They'd be the only Olympus option now. That's a lot of bodies to leave high and dry if they are not compatible.
They are safe for use instead of the BLM-1. Normally I prefer to use OEM batteries but there's no telling when the BLM-5 will be available. Every time I think Oly can't surprise me anymore, they prove me wrong. What is going on with them over in Tokyo?

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Last edited by tkurkowski; Feb 18, 2011 at 10:40 AM.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 10:58 AM   #4
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Well, you just spurred me to act, but what I did was, I went ahead and bought the BLM-5+charger combination from B&H. I also picked up a new 8GB CF card (Lexar, on sale at $24) so I can have two 8GB cards loaded at once, one CF and one SD.

I'm headed to White Sands, New Mexico with the Heard Nature Center photography club March 17-20. Went to the monthly meeting last Saturday. Low and behold, there was another E5 owner as well as an E620 user. Kind-of weird....
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 11:11 AM   #5
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Well, you just spurred me to act, but what I did was, I went ahead and bought the BLM-5+charger combination from B&H.
I thought about doing that but I can't think of a reason to have two chargers.

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I'm headed to White Sands, New Mexico with the Heard Nature Center photography club March 17-20. Went to the monthly meeting last Saturday. Low and behold, there was another E5 owner as well as an E620 user. Kind-of weird....
That trip should be fun.
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Old Feb 18, 2011, 6:43 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Greg Chappell View Post
Well, you just spurred me to act, but what I did was, I went ahead and bought the BLM-5+charger combination from B&H. I also picked up a new 8GB CF card (Lexar, on sale at $24) so I can have two 8GB cards loaded at once, one CF and one SD.

I'm headed to White Sands, New Mexico with the Heard Nature Center photography club March 17-20. Went to the monthly meeting last Saturday. Low and behold, there was another E5 owner as well as an E620 user. Kind-of weird....
That's my kind of trip. Really excited for you and looking forward to seeing your results.
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Old Feb 19, 2011, 8:40 AM   #7
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Default Technical Note for Zig

I realized it's been a while since I wrote something that causes Zig to need 2 cups of coffee to read, so here goes:

It is pretty well known that lithium ion batteries have one of the highest chemical energy densities, and lightest weights, of any rechargable battery type. It is not as well known that they heat up more than other battery types when charging and if forced to be recharged too quickly they can actually ignite. Yes, this really has happened to people and there have been large recalls of lithium ion laptop and cell phone batteries in the past.

It is my understanding that the Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association (JEITA), the folks that formulated the EXIF data standard, released a recommendation about lithium ion battery chargers last year. I believe the recommendation has to do with the charger being able to watch the temperature,or the charging rate, of the battery. It's hard for me to confirm this because although the JEITA web site allows searches in English, the documents it returns are in Japanese, which I do not read. Yes, they do have a lot of nerve.

So I think Olympus released the new BLM-5 battery and associated charger, and discontinued the BLM-1, to voluntarily comply with the JEITA recommendation. The BLM-5 has an additional contact that does not mate to anything in an Oly DSLR but does mate to a contact in the charger.

One last note. Although a lithium ion battery has one of the highest chemical energy densities of any rechargable battery, its energy density is significantly lower than an equal volume of gasoline. Very few chemicals have a higher energy density than gasoline (ethanol is roughly half of gasoline). In case you were wondering why we use gasoline in cars, why an alcohol-fueled vehicle would need twice as large a fuel tank for the same range, and why electric vehicles have so much of a shorter range than gasoline-powered vehicles.

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Old Feb 19, 2011, 1:29 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by tkurkowski View Post
I believe the recommendation has to do with the charger being able to watch the temperature,or the charging rate, of the battery.
Now wait a minute, doesn't the current BLM-1 batteries do that now? There's a circuit between the two cells that monitors the temperature and sends the signal to the contact marked T which is used on the OEM charger, but not used in the camera or some clone chargers. Even the NiMH batteries for my drill have that circuit and the third contact.

Here's a site that talks about the insides of several clone BLM-1 batteries:
http://t5r.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/e1/clonetests.htm
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 7:58 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mikefellh View Post
Now wait a minute, doesn't the current BLM-1 batteries do that now? There's a circuit between the two cells that monitors the temperature and sends the signal to the contact marked T which is used on the OEM charger, but not used in the camera or some clone chargers. Even the NiMH batteries for my drill have that circuit and the third contact.

Here's a site that talks about the insides of several clone BLM-1 batteries:
http://t5r.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/e1/clonetests.htm
What I posted is what I've read about the BLM-5. If the BLM-1 has a temperature sensing control, why did Oly discontinue it and introduce the BLM-5?
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Old Feb 20, 2011, 8:15 AM   #10
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I'm not attacking you...I've had as much frustration trying to find out what the exact regulation in Japan is that required Olympus and others to change their batteries. Unfortunately up till now the regulation has only been known to officials at the companies involved, which can make one think there's a conspiracy to lock out clone makers, just like Panasonic did with their firmware preventing the use of 3rd party batteries.
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